Before deciding which is the best nanny camera for you, it’s important to decide what the words ‘Nanny Camera’ mean to you. For some, it can mean a wider interpretation of baby camera monitor (opens in new tab), , in which the camera helps the nannying, while others are more concerned with keeping a close eye on their nanny.
Since both involve cameras with remote viewing, this list will help with both, but you should think about what matters to you most; viewing live as it happens or recording. The latter often requires a subscription, though an alternative is an onboard memory card.
Nanny cams need to be viewed with sense; checking in to see a crying child might distress you but your babysitter might be in the next room heating the milk which will stop the tears. If you’re inclined to this kind of worst-case thinking, a multi-camera pack may alleviate it by letting you see more.
Nannies and babysitters can also bristle to cameras at first, so we’d suggest that you’re open about your purpose in placing cameras. That said, it’s not usually illegal to place cameras in your home and record footage (except in private places like the bathroom). Why we suggest ensuring consent is that recorded evidence is not always admissible without consent. The same is true if you’re using the device as a ‘granny cam,’ but it is generally allowed – California’s CDSS, for example, explicitly allowed them in 2015.
You may be using live view only for fear of missing out (that parental bond must be understandable). If your system makes your nanny or helper feel uncomfortable, be clear about how recorded clips might well exonerate a nanny in an incident, and about how the video is secure, kept only briefly, and not shared except in an incident.
These are our best nanny camera recommendations…
The Blink Mini makes a great nanny cam thanks to its compact size and unobtrusive aesthetic. Atop that the camera offers a good quality HD camera which works night and day and the unit houses a tiny speaker so you can communicate via two-way-talk. Obviously this isn’t a camera for hiding completely, though you can disable the record light via the app; the small size plays better into the theory that people behave better when they know they’re being watched. You can record clips to a Blink subscription plan ($3/£2.50 a month), or to a USB stick (opens in new tab) via an optional Blink Add-On Sync Module if you prefer; it’s a good choice to have.
It doesn’t hurt one bit that Blink (an Amazon company) seem to have priced the camera aggressively and offer great package deals as well as comprehensive Alexa integrations.
The Owlet is a smart cam built for babies. The mount works well on the wall above a cot, from where your camera’s 130˚ field-of-view offers a view of the baby. Night vision means the baby’s sleep won’t be disrupted, and temperature and humidity sensors can provide assurance that the environment is perfect.
As the ‘Owlet Dream Duo 2’, the camera is only part of the package. Fabric socks (which fit babies from birth to 18 months) track heart rate and blood oxygen level. This, combined with the microphone in the camera, can build up sleep trend data all shared by the same app from which the 1080P feed can be watched. This is used by proprietory ‘predictive sleep technology’ which will suggest when – and for how long – your baby will sleep. (The baby, of ocurse, might have other ideas.)
The elegant software also has 4x digital zoom and share functions so if you happen to catch a cute moment while keeping a remote eye on your baby you can post it. There are no subscription costs.
The cheapest of the Amazon-owned Blink cameras is the mini, a USB-powered cam to be used indoors. It is accessibly priced and makes an adequate nanny cam as-is, but the newest version, with remotely controlled pan/tilt base is even better.
The pan and tilt mount provides not only the obvious advantage of being able to re-direct the camera, but also a counterweight which means the device is easier to sit on a piece of furniture near a cot and tip downward. The camera turns quietly; the loudest sound it makes is when it switches to night mode.(opens in new tab)
Using Google’s Nest Cam as you choice of nanny cam has a lot of advantages, not least the camera’s built-in smarts. Many cameras off some form of intelligent alert, but it used to involve processing at remote servers, and was a feature included in the subscription); but putting AI processing on-board the new Nest Cam might not be the cheapest but it’s appreciably quicker with smart alerts (i.e. it won’t warn you about a pet).
There is still the option to invest in cloud storage of clips to review events, though the cameras do offer live view and two-way-chat, and can be picked up and placed anywhere in or out of the home. A wi-fi drop-out is no longer a concern either; on-board storage will keep recording up to an hour’s worth of new clips (potentially quite a while since clips are only recorded during activity).(opens in new tab)
The Eufy Solo makes a great nanny cam because it can be placed in a central location in the home and it will either automatically track people as the move, or you can remotely pan it as you choose. Better still, the alerts system is sound-aware, and can be set to detect crying (or, strictly, excessive noise – but the two are often the same thing) so it’s not only a motion-sensitive device.
You do need to be able to provide a 2.4GHz wi-fi signal, but you won’t be subject to a monthly subscription and video will be stored for you on the camera – up to 128GB worth if you place a large enough microSD card (opens in new tab) inside.
Logitech’s compact and elegant Cirvle View camera isn’t a nanny cam per se; in fact (other than their doorbell) it serves as the company’s only HomeKit camera. It has a wide field of view and night vision up to 4.5m (15ft), so even though it can be used outside, it gives a good view of a room whether the lights are on or not. The flexibility to serve as a nanny cam comes partly from the smart design – it can be rested on a surface or mounted – and partly from the Apple HomeKit software.
You can get a live view, and engage in two-way talk, from any Apple device, and – if you subscribe to Apple’s iCloud storage on any paid plan you also get clip storage which doesn’t eat into the file space. The cheapest is $0.99 / £0.79 a month and if you’re an iPhone user there is a good chance you already use this.(opens in new tab)
The Stick Up Cam Battery’s nanny cam credentials are similar to other wi-fi cameras – the device allows straightforward connection to a smartphone app for live-view and subscription recording – bolstered by a range of positioning possibilities. The camera is powered by a removable rechargeable battery (indeed if you already use Ring’s doorbells it is interchangeable).
While it isn’t cheap, the third-generation Stick Up Cam can be easily moved around the home and we liked that the included stand makes it easier to place on furniture than the pricier Google battery camera. The Ring software provides live view and two-way-chat as standard, though recording clips will require a cloud subscription.(opens in new tab)
The Wyze v3’s wide ƒ/1.6 image sensor can capture more light than many of its competitors, reflected in the provision of color night vision. It makes a great nanny cam in large part because of its accessible pricing. Despite the price, there is still two-way-talk and even a built-in siren.
Setup is made straightforward by Wyze’s app, but digging a little deeper and support for IFTTT applets (as well as the usual Alexa integrations) offer a little more interest for tech enthusiasts.
The provision of a microSD slot to record to for free, plus Wyze’s free 14-day event storage is unusually generous, while the upgrade to a paid subscription service (required to enable the intelligent motion detection) isn’t disturbingly pricey either.
Atop all the features, the device is even weatherproof (it’ll cope with rain, if not a dunking), so can be positioned under the eaves outdoors if you choose.(opens in new tab)
If you’re looking for a hidden nanny cam that can go in public areas of the home (or to keep an eye on ones you don’t expect to be intruded upon), then this picture frame is ideal. A motion-sensitive camera, powered by a 10,000 mAh rechargeable battery, can be left and forgotten about, while the inclusion of a night vision mode is appreciated.
On the downside, the instructions and software could be a little clearer and (because the electronics are well concealed) charging the battery or getting the microSD out do mean taking the back off. The lack of support for 5GHz wi-fi is also a disappointment, though clips are recorded to the microSD card too.
Nonetheless, if you have the right wi-fi available, the option of instant motion alerts, live view and recorded video do set this apart from other picture frame cameras. It’s something to do with a 5 x 7-inch photo!
How we test the best nanny camera
Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
At DCW, we test and review all different types of cameras, including conventional cameras for photography and video, as well as more specialized cameras such as baby monitors. In the latter case, we look at specific camera features, such as battery life, connectivity, night vision, and price, in order to assess how well the camera fulfills its function, and whether it offers good value for money.
Find out more about how we test and review on Digital Camera World (opens in new tab).